This fall, my poor, poor family has had to suffer most pitiably through my experimentations as I attempted to come up with a Butternut Squash Pie that baked up similarly to our standard Pumpkin Pie.
And I mean that with all of the sarcasm my heart can muster.
Mostly I toyed with sweeteners, trying to find that threshold between Not-Sweet-Enough and Acceptably-Sweet. I think I struck gold with this version.
While none of them have been “bad” (OK, maybe the one with NO sweetener, but butternut squash is naturally sweet, so I had to give it a try!), this one is our favorite both in terms of sweetness and texture. Topping it with a dollop of freshly whipped, sweetened cream and this pie is superb! And it didn’t even need any evaporated or sweetened condensed milk to get that way!
Maple syrup came in a very close and debatable second. The texture was a little more gelatinous and the sweetness mildly more subtle. I think it would depend on your preference and pantry really.
I have yet to see if I can achieve the same thing with our family favorite, Sweet Potato Pie, but I hope I can so that we might be able to indulge a bit more guilt-free come Thanksgiving. Sweet Potatoes grow nearly effortlessly for us in the past and I imagine might do even better here since the soil appears to be more loamy.
You might be thinking to yourself, “Why not just stick with pumpkin pie? Why try to mess with an already good thing?”
I agree. Pumpkin pie is a really good thing. But it typically calls for the aforementioned canned sweeteners which this health conscious mama would prefer to avoid. If you’re growing your own pumpkins, like we try to, you might experience a drastic variation in texture from what you’re used to purchasing in the cans. While some varieties aren’t as watery as others, your typical pie pumpkin is a great deal wetter than canned pumpkin which throws the texture and bake times off. Butternut squash has much less liquid making a delicious, consistent homegrown pie more achievable. Which is the best way to eat pie, if you want my opinion.
- 1 unbaked pie crust (May I suggest my Flakey Pie Crust )
- 3 c. of pureed butternut squash (about 2 squash) (How to Puree Winter Squash )
- 1/3 c. milk
- 2 T. butter or coconut oil (melted if the squash is cool)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c. sweetener (we like half evaporated cane juice, half sucanat, but maple syrup works really well too)
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
- 1/2 t. ginger
- 1/2 t. nutmeg or mace
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Stir all of the ingredients together and spoon into an unbaked pie crust.
- Bake for about 50-60 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (You may need to cover the pie after about 30 minutes baking in order to prevent the crust from burning.)
- Cool completely and refrigerate prior to serving.